30 Oct 2014 - Ask your Pharmacist week

With winter fast approaching the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) alongside NHS 111 are encouraging people to “Ask Your Pharmacist”.

This week is national Ask Your Pharmacist week which aims to promote the use of this service instead of seeing your GP or going to A&E for such viruses as coughs, colds and sneezes.

NWAS is promoting the use of this service as a convenient and easily accessible way of keeping well this winter.

In the past year over 23,000 patients contacted the 111 service about cold/flu and cough symptoms, a majority of these callers were advised to seek a primary care service which could have been a pharmacist. This is a service that we want to promote for patient use to help treat the winter bugs.

Pharmacists can provide local care in the form of medical advice and can be used for health concerns such as:

  • Dispensing and repeat dispensing
  • Disposal of unwanted medicines:
  • Advice for healthy lifestyles such as tips on stopping smoking, eating healthily and getting enough exercise.
  • Signposting to other services:
  • Support for self-care

David Buckley, Head of 111 Service Delivery, said: “Pharmacists are a vital service in providing health care to the community and a service which is underused by most. There are many occasions people could gain the advice they need on a health matter from a pharmacist instead of making a GP appointment or calling 999. NWAS and NHS 111 support the use of this service fully and believe that this is an integral service in keeping people well this winter period.”